Sunday, February 12, 2006
Eww... That gotta hurt.
I just returned from watching Fun with Dick and Jane because first I didn't have anything better to do, I'm still trying to find my groove before diving headlong into editing the comic strip for next week's paper, and second of all it had Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni (who had a memorable turn as a famous newscaster who was given one last chance by Providence to make things right with her estranged dad in "Deep Impact"). Expectations were higher this time eversince I saw a preview of the movie online, the aforementioned actors with the addition of Alec Baldwin returning to comedy after a while was a strong indication that I was in for a rockin' good time. But, alas, that wasn't exactly what happened. Don't get me wrong, the whole movie was great, the actors were great, and there were a lot of funny moments but I couldn't get myself to laugh at the face of tragedy.
It's actually more of a compliment to Jim and Téa's acting skills that made them look so pitiful. Their characters were typical of the good neighbors who just wanted to live a comfortable life in the suburbs with their son and immigrant nanny. But all that disappeared when their world came crashing down when the head honcho of a big corporation where Dick was working ran away with the money that was supposed to be the employees' retirement fund. It turned out to be bigger tragedy because Jim's character, Dick was duped into thinking he received a promotion so he convinces his wife, Jane to resign from her job because they'll be getting living the good life fom thereon in. They tried looking for jobs, even the odd ones but they just couldn't make it for various reasons. Dick was even mistakenly deported to Mexico while Jane suffered allergic reactions to make up in a paid group experiment. Their electricity and water supply were cut off when they ran out of furnitures and appliances to sell. They finally resorted to armed robbery in desperation but even though they initially bungled it they eventually managed to get the hang of it. They got some of their old life back but when they met up with an old repentant boss who was previously in cahoots with the big boss in sucking the company dry, they jumped at the opportunity to try and right a wrong.
Now here's my problem with the premise: while I can commiserate with the Harpers for their misfortune and was looking forward to a happy ending, the solution was too simplistic. Too humanistic. In contrast to the character of Job in the Bible (who suffered the same fate as they although through different circumstances) they weren't as innocent as they once were by the time the credits rolled. They resorted to robbery, destroyed property and probably ruined a good number of business in the process of chasing money so they could enjoy their old life. And while they got the upper hand of the situation in the end, there was no indication that they were sorry for what they did and paid back whatever they stole. Not even anonymously. They also stooped to the same level as Dick's former boss and even played the same game of deception to get the money. Happy? Fun? Hmmm... maybe the first two thirds of the movie but it certainly wasn't so when it got to the ending.